We are blessed this year, so far, with many flowers in our gardens and we aren’t the only ones enjoying them which spells the beginning of the pollination process leading towards honey harvest. Take a look at the following image and then look at the enlarged cropped version . . . did you see this very enthusiastic bumble bee guy the first time? He is virtually pollen-encrusted head-to-toe.
Not to be outdone by a bumble bee, look at the transformation of this honeybee into a mini wooly mammoth. THIS IS SINCERELY TOOOOOOOOO MUCH!
It seemed it was time to rob Olive Isabella of one shallow box of ten frames of honey so we picked a day and went for it. We figured that shallow box weighed just a little less than 50 lbs.
We fully intended to document this extraction event but about one quarter of the way through, the scout bees found us in the honey shack, spread the word, and then some smarty-pants bee babies found their way into us. Praise bee that the girls were so focused on reclaiming their honey stores that they paid no attention to us but after a very short period we were sharing the honey shack with a hundred or more bees and we weren’t suited up!
I readily admit that such a situation can be unnerving and it isn’t fun to be stung so finally Joshua looked at me and declared, “We need to abandon ship!” Amidst all the honey, the extractor, THE DETERMINED GIRLS, and our equipment, we suited up – blessedly managing NOT to suit up any of the girls with us – and made a dash for the house with all our stuff. There were NO photo opportunities until an hour or so later when we ended up with just shy of 2 gallons of honey. Whew!
If you can imagine that in the time it took us to extract, strain, and jar the goods, the bee girls were already well on their way to cleaning up the frames and extractor that we had set up by the hives – amazing, right?